Five months after a $400,000 improvement project was completed on Ryman Alley earlier this year, Piedmont Natural Gas will dig up parts of the alley to install a new natural gas line.
The Ryman Alley is a popular downtown attraction. It served as a way for Grand Ole Opry performers to get from backstage at the Ryman Auditorium to the honky tonks on Lower Broadway.
The natural gas line will supply gas to the businesses on Broadway between 5th and 4th avenues north. The new line will allow Piedmont Natural Gas to move natural gas meters from inside the businesses to outside.
"There is not a stretch of road in Nashville that won't get dug up at some point," Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President of Government and Community Relations Terry Clement said. "We hoped that wouldn't happen in the Ryman Alley, but it's going to happen."
Clement spoke to businesses owners who will be impacted during their monthly merchant meeting.
"None of this is set in concrete, but in the last 24 hours I have heard some things that are not going to be great, but not going to be horrible," he said.
Jesselee Jones owns Robert's Western World on Broadway. His gas meter box is inside his bar near the stage.
"I hate to see it happening because it just got done after five years of so much work and so much sacrifice," Jones said. "It is called progress and I'm all for that as long as they put it back together they way they found it."
The improvement project began in September 2011 after several years of planning. The city paved the alley with a new red concrete surface, added a fire hydrant, storm water lines and electric upgrades.
The city also installed flapper valves on the sewer drains to help control odor.
"Public Works has promised that whether it is Piedmont Natural Gas or anyone else the permit will require that it gets restored to the way it is," Clements said.
Piedmont Natural Gas said business owners will not incur any expenses for the upgrades.
Piedmont plans to begin the project the first week of November. It is expected to take a week to complete.
Businesses owners will be without natural gas for about an hour at the end of the project while the company switches its natural gas from the current gas line to the new one.